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New software could solve tax headaches for 'overwhelmed' landlords

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Landlords who find themselves overwhelmed by looming changes in mortgage interest tax relief, as well as new legislation which can trigger fines and loss of licence, could benefit from software designed to them save cash and time, its makers claim.

Worryingly, one third of BTL landlords in the UK are not aware that their ability to offset mortgage interest payments against tax is being phased out by the Government from next month, research shows. 

The amount landlords can deduct for mortgage interest will be reduced to 20 per cent by 2020, in a move first announced by then-Chancellor George Osborne in 2015.

Paul Oxley, managing director of Visionbase Software, said: “Most landlords will be looking at ways to minimise the tax changes to protect their profits. 

"While the most obvious plan is to rise rents, other options open to landlords include transferring property ownership into a corporate structure, or to a partner who pays a lower income tax rate.

"All these new tax measures, combined with mounting legislation, is putting landlords under huge pressure. It can be overwhelming to keep up and failure to do so, can lead to fines and loss of licence."

New property management software Decorus for Sage includes features to streamline a landlord’s administrative workload, manage properties cost-effectively and has an accounting engine powered by Sage 50.

It allows landlords to easily generate financial reports, forecast future income and expenditure accurately and budget for maintenance work. 

And the most recent version, Decorus Online, is a web-based portal which lets users view their  data on any internet-enabled device. 

Landlords and tenants can access important information like tenancy agreements and statements as well as being able to log work orders.

The software caters to residential and commercial lettings, student accommodation providers, estate management and much more. 

"The flexibility in Decorus makes it adaptable to solve a wide spectrum of problems from calculating service charge budgets for block managers, to streamlining paperwork and simplifying client accounting for letting agents,” added Mr Oxley.

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